KNOTEWORTHY: Kathryn Ford Richter, Self Care and Mindset Coach

Kathryn Ford Richter is an RN turned Self Care and Mindset Coach. She helps overwhelmed entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, and professionals explore their fears, and increase confidence by taking action and incorporating daily self-care into their lives to feel more empowered and become happier, healthier and ultimately more successful. 

Her background as a nurse, yoga instructor, and essential oils educator reflects in her work with clients, and she loves how her skills complement one another. Kathryn works with clients one on one, as well as offers educational classes to businesses and individuals on how to incorporate essential oils into their lives to improve sleep, decrease stress and improve overall health and wellness. It is her mission to coach as many people as possible so they can feel balanced and have more energy to share their light with the world.

What do you wish you knew before you started your first business?

I wish someone told me that being an entrepreneur isn’t always glamorous or sexy as hell as SM has you believe. Truth is for most people, owning your own business is super hard work. I honestly thought I would quit nursing full-time and within a few months my business would be full and I would be loving life. That could not have been further from the truth. While I was loving life, clients did not just magically appear no matter how much manifesting and positive thoughts I put out to the universe. 

I also realized I had a LOT to learn. Not only did I have to learn how to work from home and peacefully co-exist with my husband who also works from home, I needed to learn a whole new skill set. Coaching, yoga, anything health or wellness related I was super confident about, but marketing myself on SM, learning how to send out newsletters and create opt-ins had my brain spinning. 

I just took it day by day and learned a lot of new things. I realized it was going to be a marathon, not a sprint and continued laying the foundation. I am always learning new things every day and am enjoying the process. Some months are better than others which is always just another opportunity for growth. At the end of the day, I ask myself what one thing can I do today that makes me super uncomfortable, yet will bring me one step closer towards my goal. Then I do it before all the self-talk starts chiming in with reasons for why I should keep myself small and comfortable. 

How do you achieve work-life balance? 

Love this question since this is what my business is all about. There is not one size fits all answer for people. For me, I have found that this ebbs and flows based on the season of my life. One of the most important things I do is schedule in time for myself, whether it is a yoga class, time to meditate or just a reminder to take a break. Sometimes I get so in the zone and find setting a timer super helpful to pull me back into my body and serves as a great reminder to slow down.  

I also know that if I don’t schedule in time for myself, the chances of it happening are slim as the days go on. It is not about finding the time it is about creating and prioritizing time for self-care activities. Some of the things that light me up are yoga, meditation, SUP and SUP yoga, swimming, walks and traveling. I try to make sure I schedule in at least one thing per day. 

I look at my schedule for the entire week or month and see what I have going on. My instinct is to say yes if something comes up and I have an opening in my schedule, however, then I realize that I am jammed for three days in a row. Now, I take a moment to look a the bigger picture and decide how much I want to take on that day. If I have an evening event, then I start my day later, so I am not going for 12+ hours. I am all about setting boundaries with those around me when it comes to my time. If I don’t, who will?

Another useful tool for finding a work-life balance is to know your rhythms. For example, I have way more energy in the morning than I do in the evening; therefore I book my essential meetings, calls or any writing during those hours. I can’t tell you how many clients I see trying to fight their rhythms and wonder why they are physically and emotionally exhausted. I have set hours that I work, and then I shut it down. For me, that works. If something pops into my mind, I will set a reminder on my phone to return to it tomorrow. This works really well for me.

The last thing as I could go on and on, is I don’t take myself too seriously. While the work I do is important, no one is going to die if I take a break to recharge myself. I know myself well enough to know when I need to take a break, switch gears or just laugh at my life and remember this is what I chose to create.

How do you define success? 

Such a great question! This answer has shifted for me over the years. For a long time, I thought success was measured financially. My parents always encouraged me to work hard. I worked my ass off as a waitress and later as a nurse, but was not where I wanted to be financially, and I was not healthy. I loved helping people and realized there had to be a better way to be happy, healthy and successful. 

I now look at success as doing what makes me happy while having an impact on the world. It’s about knowing what lights you up, doing it no matter what and not letting anyone or thing hold you back from doing it. It’s about owning who you are as a person, always being on a mission to learn and grow and to carve your path in the world. 

If I can continue doing that while making enough money to support my desired lifestyle then I feel like I am successful. When I look around and see the clients I have helped, my family and friends, and know that I am happy and healthy, that makes me feel successful.